The Embassy of Finland participated in the launch of the local government law for southeastern Somalia in Baido on 11 July. The law can set an example for the rest of the country, being the first of its kind in a country still recovering from a destructive civil war. The function marked the beginning of the building of local government in three of the region's counties. The project is being implemented by Finn Church Aid and their local partners, with the support of the EU and Finland
The Embassy also visited the regional coordination center for UN humanitarian aid, which distributes food and water, and offers shelter to Somalis suffering from the drought.
The ongoing drought has led to over 760 000 internally displaced people in the country since November 2016. Out of these internally displaced by the drought, over 175 000 live in refugee camps surrounding the city of Baidoa. Finland is giving 5,5 million EUR in humanitarian aid to the country this year.
The long-lasting dought and threat of famine have forced over 750 000 Somalis to seek food and shelter in emergency shelters such as this refugee camps outside of Baidoa airport. Due to the drought crisis, Somalia is now the most rapidly urbanizing country in Africa, as people abandon their rural homes.
The arrival of humanitarian aid to those who need it in Somalia is coordinated from three UN humanitarian aid centers, situtated in Baidoa, Mogadishu and Garowe. Somalia coordinator Johanna Antila met the staff at the Baidoa Drought Operations Coordination Center.